Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls

Yesterday was a grey, rainy winter day, suitable for melting the snowpiles we saw as we drove to church, but not for much else. I had some boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces that were thawed waiting for me to decide how to use them, waiting in the refrigerator when we returned. Here's what we came up with. Just to give you an idea of the response to this meal from my family - here's how it went.

Emma, 3, cleaned her bowl completely. Merina - asked for seconds on the rice and green beans and gleefully drizzled teriyaki sauce over her second bowl. The big kids (9, almost 12, and 12) all had seconds, and my husband said WOW! High praise from half my family who were raised on pizza and wings and canned ravioli before I married in.

So here's my new favorite, somewhat reduced sugar Teriyaki sauce. And following you'll find how we used it last night and ideas I have for the future. Because I ate the leftovers for breakfast at 5:30 this morning. I named it because in the cities where I lived in Washington there were teriyaki places in every strip mall. Nearly every place served their meals similarly, a scoop or two of rice, stir fried veggies including cabbage, garlic and broccoli, and a portion of grilled chicken thigh or breast with a nice glaze of teriyaki sauce.

I Miss Seattle Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup splenda (or substitute other low sugar sweetener)
1 cup of sugar free soft drink

*I used a generic of Crystal Light in peach, but have used Orange Early Rise previously too. You may also use Sugar Free Sprite, 7UP or other sugar free drink. You can substitute Pineapple juice, but then it's not suitable for diabetics, at all.

1 teaspoon grated ginger, very fine or use 1 hunk of candied or crystallized sugar ginger, like I did, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced or 1 tsp. jarred garlic
3 scallions, chopped fine - I skipped that, the refrigerator was out and we don't shop on Sunday

Bring the soy sauce and sugar free soft drink to a simmer in a sauce pan, add the ginger and garlic and add sweeteners and stir until it's dissolved. Add the scallions just before serving. Makes about 2 cups of teriyaki sauce.

Now where do you use this teriyaki sauce? Everywhere. Here is what we had for dinner last night:

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl

1/2 cup of steamed white rice per person
1/4 lb. of sautee'd chicken breast or thigh (do not salt)
1/2 cup of steamed veggies of your choice - piping hot

In a bowl, mound 1/2 cup of steamed rice like an icecream scoop, arrange 1/2 cup or more of steamed veggies around this. We like broccoli, or a stir fry mix, but even canned green beans from last year's garden are really good this way.

Then drizzle Teriyaki sauce, to taste, over the top of each rice bowl. Reduce in size appropriate to the age of the eater.

How else can you use this delicious sauce? How about baking some chicken wings, sectioned, until crisp. Toss them in a bowl, drizzle with sauce and stir until well-glazed. Or, when your hamburger or turkey or venison burger is almost done to your liking, brush this teriyaki glaze on it for the last two minutes of cooking.

Teriyaki Beef from Leftovers:

In a large skillet, heat a tsp. or so of heart healthy oil on high heat. Add one or more sliced sweet onions and sautee' until just turning golden. Slice leftover steak or roast into bite sized portions, sautee' with the onions until warmed through. Now drizzle some teriyaki sauce over the meat, and turn the meat down a little so the sauce won't burn, and glaze the meat. Serve this teriyaki over a scoop of steamed rice with salad or a steamed or stir fried vegetable along side. And that will be the end of your leftovers, quickly.

If you're eating lower carbohydrate, you might consider serving the teriyaki over stir fried cabbage and zucchini and broccoli cut into thin slivers instead of rice. Vegetarians will find this is really good to use for a marinade for pressed tofu, and in fact makes a delightful sandwich with diced fried tofu, shredded veggies and lettuce stuffed into a pita.

It's bliss. What's your local food favorite? What do you find on nearly every corner, and at every strip mall in your community? It's one thing I just don't see any more... teriyaki restaurants. In rural upstate New York, it's pizza places, sub shops, and the occasional overcooked Chinese fast food.

Enjoy Mouthwater Mondays' Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl, in whatever version you try.